Maria on distinguishing needs versus wants

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Oaken Financial

July 23, 2019


At some point or other, almost everyone struggles with the sensation of feeling a little “out of balance”. For those experiencing this phenomenon, the source can often be traced to some form of conflict or external stress.

Not surprisingly, financial concerns are a frequent source of this conflict. And whether it’s managing your household expenses, sticking to your budget or saving for your future, financial worries can cause considerable stress. As Maria explains in this Saversodes video, being able to distinguish needs from wants is critical to keeping your finances – and your life – in balance.

Of course, conflict and stress often come in other forms besides just financial matters. Here are 5 additional things that may help you maintain balance in both your personal and your work life:

1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

It goes without saying that a healthy lifestyle is the number one thing you can do for yourself. Unfortunately, this is often one of the first things sacrificed when outside pressures start to take over. No matter how hectic things are in your life, you should make every effort to maintain a healthy diet and ensure you are getting sufficient sleep.

Canada’s Food Guide was recently updated and now includes links to recipes that can help you make healthier meal choices. You should also strive to incorporate some form of exercise into your daily regimen. This is especially important if, like so many in today’s workforce, you spend the bulk of your working hours sitting at a desk.

2. Take time to unwind

Reserving a little time for yourself is essential to maintaining balance, and in this age when we’re expected to be connected and available around the clock, reserving some quality “me” time has never been so important. Make it part of your routine to take a break from all outside influences for at least a few minutes each day.

At first, it may be difficult to just shut everything down and ignore the various demands on your time, even if for only 5 or 10 minutes, but you’ll soon find yourself looking forward to your daily respite. After all, if these extremely busy people can take a little time for themselves on a regular basis, you can too!

3. Adopt a positive outlook

It can be challenging to always remain upbeat, but there is no question that adopting a positive outlook has proven benefits. However, being positive doesn’t mean being naïve, and there are times when bad things are going to happen and all the positivity in the world will not change that reality.

How you deal with adversity is key, and a positive outlook will go a long way towards helping you cope with the unavoidable hardships we all face on occasion. This article from the renowned Mayo Clinic has a great discussion on the benefits of positive thinking, and how being positive can help you better deal with stress.

4. Focus on what’s important

No matter how hard you might try, there’s only so much you can do within the confines of a single day. For those times when you can’t possibly get to everything that comes your way, you need to concentrate on the things that are of the highest importance. Being able to prioritize how best to direct your energies to tackle the most important tasks first is an essential skill to help manage stress.

5. Plan, but always prepare for the unexpected

Having a blueprint in place that outlines how to respond to a potential crisis is an indispensable part of any business continuity plan. The same holds true for your personal life.

One popular personal planning method is the concept of a 5-year plan. This is a customized roadmap consisting of a series of specific goals designed to help you achieve a larger goal within a 5-year time frame. While this approach can be very helpful, there is no way you can anticipate everything that could potentially derail your plans along the way. However, by having a roadmap in place, you’ll be in a better position to respond to any unforeseen circumstances.